Religious Liberty

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NEWS DIGEST: Adoption agencies’ religious liberty upheld; China claims U.S. ‘interference’ in Olympics

Michigan settlement affirms religious liberty for adoption agencies; China demands U.S. halt Olympics 'interference.'

Russia jails more Jehovah’s Witnesses, prompting calls for ‘strong measures’

(RNS) — Despite a court ruling by Russian judges in October that seemed to endorse leniency for Jehovah’s Witnesses arrested after their faith was labeled “extremist,” a recent rash of sentences against members of the faith group has prompted concern among human rights advocates that the government is continuing its earlier crackdown against the denomination.

Supreme Court to hear case of praying ex-football coach

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court said Friday (Jan. 14) it will hear the case of a former Seattle-area football coach who was removed from his job because he refused to stop praying on the field.

Canada joins list of nations banning conversion therapy

OTTOWA, Canada (BP) – A Canadian law banning any form of conversion therapy, broadly defined as treatment or counseling aimed at changing a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, is set to take effect Jan. 7 (Friday).

Supreme Court hears oral arguments on Biden vaccine mandate

WASHINGTON (BP) – The next step in the debate surrounding Pres. Biden’s mandate requiring employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine took place Friday (Jan. 7). Oral arguments on the constitutionality and a request for delaying the mandate were presented before the U.S. Supreme Court. Biden’s order, set to go into effect Jan. 10, would affect businesses with 100 or more employees.

Justices skeptical of Maine exclusion of faith-based schools

WASHINGTON (BP) – A Maine tuition-assistance program that excludes faith-based schools discriminates based on religion, a seemingly receptive U.S. Supreme Court was told Wednesday (Dec. 8).

Iowa to pay $1.9M to settle religious, speech rights cases

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A state panel agreed Monday (Dec. 6) to spend nearly $2 million to settle two federal lawsuits brought against the University of Iowa in 2017 after a religious group denied a gay student a leadership role.

Florist reaches settlement after eight-year legal battle

OLYMPIA, Wash. (BP) – Barronelle Stutzman’s defense of her religious liberty is over. The florist and owner of Arlene’s Flowers reached a settlement with the men who sued her because she would not design floral arrangements for their wedding in 2013.

Texans vote to prohibit government from limiting religious services

ALLEN, Texas (BP) – An amendment to the Texas constitution prohibiting the state government from imposing limits on religious worship services passed with 62 percent of the vote Tuesday (Nov. 2).

Judge grants certain businesses protection from sex discrimination liability

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) – Sincerely held religious beliefs can be used to shield certain for-profit businesses from federal sex discrimination liability established in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a Texas district court judge ruled Sunday (Oct. 31).